B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/
Queen race makes no resounding difference. Some italian stock will lay twice as much as Carniolan in the early spring. I have not been really impressed any more by the carnies than the regular old well mated italians.
>Queen race makes no resounding difference. Some italian stock will lay twice as much as Carniolan in the early spring. I have not been really impressed any more by the carnies than the regular old well mated italians.<
I guess it depends where you are. You're in Tennessee, I'm in northern Vermont.
What kind of honey do you make in Vermont? I am curious. We make tulip poplar, blackberry, clover, fruit blossom, sourwood, mtn. berry, sumac, and bamboo.
We get a nice progression of flows here, not each every year. In years when everything yields, we get a great crop. Starting in early May....
Willow, Dandelion, Fruit Bloom, Honeysuckle, Mustard, Brambles, Sumac, Clovers, Milkweed, Basswood, Sweet Clover, Purple Loosetrife, Goldenrod, Aster. Then the biggest and most dependable flow of all...
Is basswood as good as they say it is? I have never had the pleasure of tasting any. My favorite made down here is sumac. Something about its viscosity, amber color, and great flavor is delicious.
Michael: just stay away from the yellow snow~~~
>Is basswood as good as they say it is?<
Mmmm. Very good! Better than Sourwood! :-)
Basswood is a white honey, with a distinctive minty flavor. Makes awsome comb honey. Flow not always dependable. I've heard something about getting a flow every 7 years. Haven't seen that. We surely make Basswood more than once every seven years.
This year wasn't a Basswood year. Didn't even taste any in burr comb. Maybe in another year, I'll have some, and we can exchange.
Tom Glenn's endorsement of the Russian X VSH is food for thought. That
cross's offspring would be interesting to test: to see what kind of
combinations and colonies you'd have.
What's your rough colony yield figure for your breeders (VSHxCarni)?
Sounds like a good idea. The best of Vermont and the best of East Tennessee honey.
>What's your rough colony yield figure for your breeders (VSHxCarni)?<
They usually make the average, or close to it the first year from nuc. Second year the good ones make much more.
This year wasn't a great flow. I've been wrapping, and just from looking at the info I wrote on the backs, looks like this years nucs (made in July of '06) averaged near 100, with some totals of 80 to 120.
The colonies that were nucs a year or two ago, made up near 150. They make big colonies, which is what you need here to make honey.
What they really need is a Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) database website set up so that ARS and other reliable researchers can tell us more about gene-trait-environment relationships. Researchers in Tennessee and Maine have setup such databases for the mouse, and it is now possible for honeybees because we have a sequenced genome. This will advance the work of breeders greatly.
Is the 150 in lbs.? Would you please give figures based in gallons or supers so that I can compare. Or even a conversion ratio.
A deep super stuffed full is about 95 pounds of honey. A shallow super similarly stuffed is about 45 pounds. A medium runs in the range of 65 pounds. You can quibble about these weights a bit, some would say they are a bit high.
you can't just measure honey production, You must also measure how much honey had to be left for the bees to overwinter. It is common to leave 100 to 120 pounds for overwintering in the north and 45 to 65 pounds here in the south.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest
I've weighed many supers of all sizes, when full, and after extracting. Deeps weigh about 80 pounds when full, and 20 after extracting. That works out to 60 pounds. Mediums have about 40 pounds of honey, while shallows have about 30. These weights are in supers where the combs are well puffed out with honey.
My bees are along the Canadian border in NY and VT. I leave about 80-90 pounds on for winter. On the backs of the hive, I record the honey produced, and the weight of the hive when I weigh...for each year. Quite interesting to follow a colony's records over the years. At a glance, you can see total production and sugar fed for each year.
A former inspector was helping me wrap last week, and we were comparing colonies. I was showing him the wisdom of NOT requeening every year. Some colonies produced big crops every year, some missed one year...when they requeened themselves...but produced big crops in the following years. Some produced big crops, but needed considerable amount of feed. Of course, some produced small crops a couple years in a row...these were either requeened, or split up into nucs for wintering. If I requeened by the calendar...ie annually or semiannually...I wouldn't be able to identify those colonies that go on from year to year producing big crops and requeening themselves when they need to.
Then there were those colonies that produced a big crop, and were way overweight. For instance...I remember one that produced 190 lbs this year, and weighed 220. Since my target weight is 160, that colony's production was 250. I don't figure the honey they need for winter into the production records...only what they make over that amount, or under that amount.
I agree with you on not requeening every year. I have a specific line of queens that came off of an outstanding queen from last year. There is no comparison to the production of the hives with these queens (the best of which produced near 30 gallons this year) to the queens I have got through the mail. The carniolans, I have also found do not lay carniolans. They lay italians. The commercial queens are therefore carniolan in genetic makeup, but mate with regular italian drones. Their offspring are not carniolan and do not seem to possess the advantages of Carniolans.